Summary: Making a right choice as to whom we believe will determine our eternal destiny.
Text: “How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?” (John 5:44)
Do you believe everything you read, everything you see, or everything someone tells you?
By the same token, does everything you write, everything you present or everything you say believed by other people?
Who are we to believe? Jesus knew who to believe, but some of the people in his day did not know who to believe. In fact, some of the Pharisees said to Him, “You bear witness of Yourself; Your witness is not true” (John 8:13).
They said this because Jesus knew who He was and He spoke for Himself. The Pharisees said two witnesses were necessary to testify to the truth.
Jesus said, “Even if I bear witness of Myself, My witness is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from and where I am going” (John 8:14). Jesus indicated that the Father testified by two means: the written Word and by the works of Jesus. No other witness or testimony was necessary.
If we go back to the beginning of the Gospel of John, we read of one who came to witness for Jesus. That man was John the Baptist. Verse 7 says, ‘This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe.”
Jesus doesn’t say that John came to witness for Him, but instead He says John came to “witness to the truth” (John 5:33). Jesus did not need to have man testify for Him, but He did use John to open the eyes of those who were lost and perishing.
Jesus mission was not to save His own life, but it was to save those who would accept Him and come to Him. He even wanted to save the souls of those who were His enemies and those who prosecuted Him. As He hung on the Cross in pain and agony, He said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:31).
John was a different and unique person. He did not dress as other men dressed. He did not eat the usual food eaten by others. “Now John himself was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey” (Matthew 3:4).
John preached a message that was different from all the other messages the people heard. This message was so unusual that “…all the region around the Jordan went out to him and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins” (Matthew 3:5-6).
God had placed John upon the earth to carry out a specific mission. The prophet Isaiah recorded these words, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: prepare the way of the LORD; make His paths straight” (Matthew 3:3).
Many of the people liked John and had respect for him. They believed what he had to say. They were interested in what he had to say. He talked about the Word becoming flesh. He message talked about “The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father…” (John 1:18).
Jesus did not need the testimony of another person, but this person was a part of God’s plan. John did not claim to be Christ or Elijah or any of the other prophets. He merely said that he was the person Isaiah talked about.
God used John to prepare the minds of the people for the One who could save their souls. John’s message was one of repentance. “John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand’” (Matthew 3:1-2).
The kingdom of God would be the entry of God’s Son, the Anointed One, upon the face of the earth. Jesus would be introduced to people and they would have the opportunity to accept Him as their personal Lord and Savior.
John was not the “Light” but he was a secondary light. Jesus was the Light. John was a very sincere person and very energetic and active in carrying out his mission. He was obedient in deed and powerful in word.
Jesus said “He (John) was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light” (John 5:35). John was a vehicle used by God to get the attention of the people. In his own way, he shined like a bright light from a burning fire.
As we all know, new things do get old. We buy a new car, but as we begin to make payments the newness wears off. When we were children, we wanted some new toy, but after playing with it for a while, we lost interest in that toy and cast our eyes upon some other toy. There are times a new program comes on television and we like it, but after a while we no longer care to watch it.